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We were so pleased to have participated in the US Grant 2011 Wedding & Event Showcase: A Royal Affair. We enjoyed every moment of our talented showcase of incredible wedding industry professionals like DJ Spencer Bezy from Mobile Music Plus, Jason Taylor of Taylor FilmTim Otto Photography,  ePod Eventsb.mookié JewelryA Better Deal TuxedoM Bride and regal table-tops from A Diamond CelebrationHartworks Floral DesignIndulge FlowersCLassic Party Rental,Wildflower LinenKool Party RentalsPink Star DesignSoBelle Chocolate Favors in the Palm Court Foyer.


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We invite you to join The Bridal Bar in the Palm Court Foyer at the US Grant this Sunday, February 27, 12-4pm, for the 2011 Wedding & Event Showcase, celebrating bridal grace, glamour and elegance.

A Royal Affair will feature stunning bridal gowns by M Bride Couture Wedding Gowns, inspired men’s fashions and women’s apparel by Neiman Marcus and Lily Pulitzer, and a tiara and jewel collection from Tiffany & Co. to rival royal treasures. Spanning the entire hotel, from the Crystal Ballroom adorned with hand-painted ceilings, to the magnificent Presidential Ballroom, THE US GRANT’s multiple event ballrooms will be open for guests to tour and marvel. Over 70 of the most sought-after Southern California wedding vendors, including photographers, florists, event planners, designers and cake creators will be on hand showcasing their talents and meeting with guests face-to-face.


$20 Admission to A Royal Affair includes:


*First-hand experience with San Diego’s finest wedding vendors and the nation’s hottest fashion retailers

*Gourmet hors d’oeuvres, wedding tastings, and cake concepts

*Champagne and signature cocktails

*Opportunity to win luxurious accommodations to the landmark “Pink Palace of the Pacific” - The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort in Waikiki, or to the magnificent St. Regis Deer Valley with ski-in, ski-out access to the Valley’s renowned slopes – both romantic destinations perfect for your honeymoon.

*For the grand prize giveaway, brides have the chance to win a wedding reception steeped in legendary style for up to 100 guests in one of THE US GRANT’s enchanting Wedding Venues!


In partnership with the American Heart Association, $5 of each ticket will directly benefit the Go Red for Women campaign.


Purchase Tickets


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Now That you know everything there is to know about diamonds and ring settings, its time to think about you, your special someone, and your wonderful relationship together……and put that all into a meaningful way to say I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you!!

Have no fear!! We have just the perfect tips and pointers from The Yes Girls the masterminds behind Simply U Proposals! Here is some advice from them that are worth considering when planning your marriage proposal….

Before You Propose

Considerations before planning your perfect marriage proposal.

Timeless Traditions

Is it important to your girlfriend that you ask her father or someone in her family for their blessing? If so, even if you believe it’s an old tradition, take the time to call her family or take them out to dinner before you pop the question. This way you avoid any hurt and surprised family members.

Her Ring

Trying on rings beforehand is always a plus! Many women tend to love a certain style/setting until they try on the ring and find another style fits their finger better.

If she wants the ring to be a complete surprise then do some research. Consult her best friends and listen carefully to any hints she drops. It is not a bad idea to have her friends take her ring shopping for fun.

Timing is Everything

Think ahead. Has she hinted at a Summer or Fall Wedding? It is always considerate to propose at least 6 months prior to the wedding. If she wants a shorter engagement then let her be the one to decide. Better safe on time than sorry.

How To Pop the Question

The Do’s

1. Public or Private

Who should be present at your marriage proposal? Just the two of you, her family and best friends, or perhaps a cheering crowd? REALLY think this one through.

Just because you are a sports fanatic does not mean her idea of a proposal is on the jumbotron. However, If she is a die hard fan, paints her face, and never misses a single game then go for it!

We have discovered most women prefer a proposal to take place in a private or semi-private manner. Some women prefer to have family and friends involved. Holidays are fun and personable atmospheres to create your proposal. However, remember you will be competing with the holidays. There is always the option of an intimate setting for the two of you, followed by a surprise gathering of family and friends.

2. Location

Location is key to setting the mood. This is where you can incorporate favorite memories together. This goes to show just how well you paid attention. However, do not get so caught up in location that it stops you from tuning into your creativity. Start with “how” you’re going to propose rather than “where” you’re popping the question and the possibilities will increase ten fold.

3. Attention to Details

Incorporating specific moments and details in your engagement proposal that she wouldn’t expect you to remember will leave her in awe. This is your chance to prove to her that you know her better than anyone else. Remember you want to make the proposal about her by incorporating her interests and what she enjoys doing most with you. DO NOT NEGLECT the little details; they are the icing on the cake and honestly, the best part!

4. Females Perspective

It’s so important to get a females opinion and perspective regarding your proposal idea! Consult her friends, sisters, mom, etc. If you are nervous a close friend or family member may spoil the surprise, this is where the Simply U Proposals team can help. We provide you with a female’s perspective without ruining your surprise, which is why Simply U has excited clients and an outstanding success rate.

The Dont’s

1. Throw out unoriginal clichés

To be blunt, automatically rule out proposals via jumbotrons, fortune cookies, and over a “nice” dinner. With a little thought and planning, you can go beyond cliché ideas. If you get stuck, consult her girlfriends/sister/mom or brainstorm ideas with a Simply U Consultant to keep it a complete surprise.

2. Her Wants vs. Yours

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone just a little. It’s important to think about what your sweetheart would want. Many times we hear of proposals where the guy just thinks what he thinks is cool rather than what SHE would appreciate. Think about past memories, her favorite things, her personality type, her love language, and you’ll start to cater the proposal to her desires.

We truly hope that this was helpful and inspirational and above all that all your dreams come true……CONGRATULATIONS & BEST WISHES FROM THE BRIDAL BAR!!!

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San Diego Weddings and Parties

ShopLocalSD: Bridal Bar in La Jolla

Building the beginning of a “happily ever after”
By Rebekah Sager
Posted on Sat, Nov 20th, 2010
Last updated Sat, Nov 20th, 2010

Anseth Page Richards is not your ordinary wedding planner.She calls herself a couple’s coach, whose job it is to help brides and grooms over the first roadblock to marital bliss—planning a wedding. Born and raised in La Jolla, Richards says she has seen the planning of a wedding end a relationship before it has had a chance to begin the “happily ever after” part.

Revolving table decor.

Photo by Rebekah Sager

Whether it’s finding a CPA or lawyer (both of which she recommends for newlyweds), a florist, a pole dance instructor or a pyrotechnic DJ, the Bridal Bar is a one-stop-shop for organizing the “big day” or any big event.

Ten years ago, thanks to Hollywood, a movie starring Jennifer Lopez called The Wedding Planner, changed the role of that job. The wedding planner became as essential to a successful wedding as a great dress and a beautiful cake. “Prior to the movie, it was the mother of the bride that did all the work,” Richards says. “But our world has changed and become very specialized–when you need your computer fixed you hire an IT guy, if you’re getting married you hire a wedding planner.”

Every bride is special.

Photo by Rebekah Sager

The Bridal Bar kind of works like a PR firm/concierge service: They vet vendors such as caterers, photographers, and florists and choose the best six. Those vendors become “members” for a fee. Couples come to the store to discuss the budget and look of their wedding, and the Bridal Bar can direct them to the appropriate vendors–saving them the time and energy of trying multiple bakeries, listening to multiple DJs, or tasting multiple caterers.

Weddings can be tricky to plan and budget. Bridal Bar suggests that weddings usually fall into one of three catagories: Enjoy, Relax, Dream—the differenceis how money is proportioned, according to the couples’ priorities—maybe more on food, or more on music, etc.

Although Bridal Bar has suffered in the last couple of years due to the economy, Richards says 2011 is going to be a great year. “The luxury wedding market was hit hard, but the modest vendors had very good years,” she says.

Weddings in general will be a booming business in the next few years due to the Baby Boomers’ kids are coming into marrying age. One third of the Boomer’s kids will be marrying in the next five years.

Although all of the Bridal Bars are independently owned, the original store and the brand was started in Los Angeles by Harmony Walton. There are three locations–one in Beverly Hills, one in San Diego, and one in Atlanta.

The Bridal Bar offers bride and groom gifts, jewelry and engraving; basically anything a bride could think of, and some things she didn’t. They help brides and grooms connect the dots.

“It’s our goal to help couples live happily ever after,” says Richards.

Article Courtesy of
About the author: Rebekah Sager is a San Diego writer and blogger. Her work has been published in San Diego Magazine, Pacific San Diego, Where magazine and the South African literary journal Words etc. Her Web site is More by this author

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The placement of the entertainment plays an important part in the success of your reception. There seems to be a little trend of centering the dance floor and then placing the DJ on an opposite wall or in a corner, sometimes as much as 50-75 feet away. In most cases there are tables between the DJ and the dance floor. Whether you are using a band or a dj, they need to be located where they can best do their job, and that is by the dance floor. The speakers need to be up on stands for the best possible sound, and you don’t want tables with guests between the speakers and the dance floor. Two major problems arise when this takes place: one is that the guests seated at the tables in front of the speakers are usually not happy about it, and the other is the music volume needs to be louder since it has to travel further to reach the dance floor. It is also important that when the band or dj is doing the introductions or facilitating the toast that they can be seen as well as heard. If you’ve ever been to an event where someone is making an announcement, but you don’t know where it’s coming from, you notice everyone in attendance looking around the room trying to find out where the announcer is. And finally, a professional DJ with good equipment does not need a lot of room; a 5 foot by 4 foot space is usually enough. With a little planning you can still have the dance floor centered and the DJ next to it. Please consider these thoughts when planning your special event. Your dj or band will appreciate it. And in the end, so will you and your guests.

~ Mike

Mike Hogan is a full time professional DJ/Emcee with over 20 years of event experience. He is considered by many as one of the best and the majority of his business is by referral. Mike is a preferred vendor at over 30 of San Diego’s finest hotels and event venues including The Hotel Del Coronado, La Costa Resort and Spa, The La Valencia Resort, The Rancho Bernardo Inn and The Grand Del Mar. He is also the DJ of choice for many of San Diego’s top reception coordinators and corporate event planners. Mike has fun at what he does and takes great pride in a full dance floor and a happy client; you can rest assured he will do all he can to assist in the success of your celebration! Entertainment At Large can also take care of all your lighting needs, from Custom Glass Gobos to LED uplighting we will make your venue look it’s best!

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The Garter

The history of the traditional wedding garter….

Throwing garters is considered to be the oldest surviving wedding tradition. Back in Dark Ages it was customary for friends, relatives and guests to accompany the bridal couple to the marriage bed. At first this was to safely see the married couple ensconced in their wedding bed and once established the crowd respectfully left the newly weds to their own company.

The wedding garter toss became a game of sorts.  The bridal party would toss the garter at the grooms nose and the person who successfully landed the garter on his nose would be the next to marry.

The custom became rowdier and bawdier until the guests were eager to help the bride out of her wedding clothes. The wedding guests would try to grab the bride’s garter for good luck. It is thought to forestall such impropriety, the bride’s garter was given to the mob as a distraction. Soon this became an established custom.

Throwing the garter to the groom’s men is what remains of the custom. In Northern England the old custom was for male guests to rush the bride at the altar when the ceremony was finished and remove her garter from her leg. In the panic this usually meant the bride was knocked over and trampled on.

Gradually brides made garters easier to detach and finally to avoid threat of injury they tossed their garters away at the end of the ceremony. Garters were imbued with fertility and the bride’s garter signified consummation, fulfillment, and progeny and was always fiercely sought after. Untying the bride’s garter had a deeply symbolic act. In the past the lucky guest to receive the bride’s garter would wear it proudly on his hat, before giving it to the girl of his choice for luck.

Another variation on this custom in the 19th century was for the local youths to race from the church to the bride’s house. The first was given the honor of removing the bride’s left garter. He would then tie this around his own true love’s knee as a guard against unfaithfulness. In the North of England , the custom was for the man to wear the bride’s garter in his hat.

Tossing the garter was reintroduced in the early part of the twentieth century.  These days, the groom is responsible for removing the garter and tossing it at the eagerly waiting groomsmen at the reception.  Much tamer that the early days.  Bride would also have a second keepsake garter that they would keep with their wedding dress.

The Classic Garter

The Personalized Garter

The Monogram Garter

A tradition that is loved and loved to be hated.  Some brides have shunned the “garter toss tradition” in recent years but still many like to have the garter incorporated into their wedding in some way.  They can be fun and sometimes crazy (depending on your crowd)  But not all brides want this. Some would like a special memento from their wedding day that they can keep and then pass down to the next generation.  What ever it is you are doing… it’s likely you are similar to most brides.  Today’s bride is looking for something that will embrace her personality and will match with her wedding colors or theme. Whether you as a bride, choose to keep it a special secret hidden for your husband’s eyes only, or show it off, is completely a personal decision for you.

The Colorful Garter

Garters are a small way to make a fun and exciting impact on your special day.   Ladies feel sexy when they put on a garter.  For some reason it just makes us feel special in anticipation for time to be spent with our spouse.  Many women like to wear matching garters with various intimate honeymoon outfits, or to make holidays and anniversaries special times to remember.  But garters are used most often on the wedding day.    This day the bride may put on her most lovely under garments for her groom.  The garter many times is the last & final touch to the underwear attire, and it is one of the first things the brides new husband will remove.  This is why so many brides order custom garters, they want them to be something worthy to be remembered! If you wish to have a custom garter to fit your personality we recommend the unique and sexy garters from HCC Designer Garters

Garters shown available at Smart Bride Online & WrapWithUs.Com

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GROOM ADVICE – 2010 Engagement Ring Tips & Trends 07.07.10

What Is A Better Way To Find Inspiration Than The Very Latest Engagement Ring Trends?

Square settings and diamonds are definitely the latest engagement ring trend. Many recent celebrity engagement rings including Mariah Carey, Ashlee Simpson, and Jessica Alba, all feature square central settings and square cut center diamonds. Square shaped diamonds include the Asscher, princess, radiant and cushion cuts.

Art Deco and vintage inspired engagement rings are popular, and this ties in really well with the square shaped central settings. A great advantage to this style of engagement ring is that you have a ring that is classically beautiful and timeless.

Colored diamonds can add a subtle or not so subtle element of color to your engagement ring. The advantage to colored diamonds is that they are the same hardness as traditional diamonds so they wear well. Colored diamonds vary in prices, with pinks and yellows costing more than the traditional blue white, and the champagne and cognacs costing significantly less.

Platinum and white gold bands and settings are becoming increasingly popular. While platinum is a more costly metal, it is much harder wearing, hypoallergenic, and will never wear out. Both white gold and platinum will enhance the size of your diamonds, and will not detract from the sparkle and fire of your stones. White gold is a more cost effective option than platinum, but the white gold needs to be regularly plated with rhodium to maintain a high luxurious shine similar to platinum.

Engraving special quotes, messages, or nicknames on the inside of the engagement ring is becoming increasingly popular and helps to personalize your ring.

Sparkling settings in pave are in trend. Whether your custom made engagement ring is a solitaire, three stone, or five stone, there is always plenty of opportunity to adorn the surrounding setting, shanks or band with sparkle. Pave set diamonds can be a great way to maximize the sparkle factor without a hefty price tag. Baguette set diamonds are also popular set along the band but will be more costly than a pave settings.

Bridal sets look very finished and are becoming increasingly popular in the new year. When designing your own engagement ring you can have your wedding ring designed as a perfect fit at the same time. Choices include having a wedding band that has been worked or engraved to match your engagement ring, pave set diamonds on both engagement ring and wedding ring, or patterned rings that match. The great advantage to bridal sets is that the two rings are always going to sit perfectly together.

Courtesy of

Here at The Bridal Bar, we know how nerve wrecking choosing the right diamond and setting to match your bride’s personality and the expression of your love for her can be. We want to help you make the right decision for your heart and your wallet. In addition to the above tips and trends, we also suggest that you Ask The Diamond Guy and get a more precise knowledge on your diamond and it’s setting!!

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The Bridal Bar is excited to premier the 1st of many short educational clips.  Enjoy!!!

Wedding, Family & Portrait Photography Location Selection by Don Mirra

As a professional photographer in san diego Don will help you understand why family photographs and engagement photographs need a good location. You will understand more about light and that the beach while great might not be the best first choice.

Don Mirra Photography fuses a passionate, artistic eye of composition and light with a photojournalism approach of spontaneity and responsiveness to the “decisive moment”.

Don Mirra Weddings’ expansive line of style, confidence, and experience combined with Don’s comfort in capturing formal and informal images ensures all aspects of your wedding experience are documented while providing the exclusive bride and groom with avant-garde photographic memories.

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